RE: New Public Review Issue

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Tue Feb 24 2004 - 15:11:21 EST

  • Next message: Ernest Cline: "Coptic Standard Character Code"

    > > Another alternative which should be considered is use of a variation
    > > selector.
    > None of the stakeholders on this issue has suggested that option, and I
    > suspect would reject it outright. There is no need to introduce a
    > variation selector; it would constitute yet another innovation in the
    > Indic model and would only lead to more confusion.

    I agree with Peter (C, not K) here. The problem with an
    approach using variation selectors is twofold. As Peter
    Constable says, it would constitute another innovation for
    controlling forms in Indic processing, introducing the
    possibility for more confusion and mismatch in implementations.
    Even worse, however, is that variation selectors are intended
    to be ignorable without serious distortion of the impact on
    text interpretation. The typical cases of variation selection
    for math symbols just picks out a glyph preference between
    what are otherwise freely interchangeable forms. But in
    the case of khanda-ta we have a fixed orthographic form that
    is correct in some circumstances and incorrect in others, at
    least by all accounts I've been hearing. It is such situations
    that have typically used ZWJ and ZWNJ in Indic scripts to
    control required forms.

    Think of variation selection as being more appropriate when
    what we are talking about are for most purposes simply
    *free variants* for presentation -- either is equally correct
    to most people under most circumstances -- but where for
    particular presentation purposes someone wishes to choose
    out a precise variant and have indication of that usage
    reside in the text stream itself. (And even then, this is
    only used in extreme circumstances when failure to have such
    a mechanism available is causing a mapping problem or similar
    issue which threatens to become a character *encoding* problem
    for the committees.)


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